Unrest at Marikana may affect inquiry

2013-05-14 14:24
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Amcu members march at Lonmin

2013-05-14 15:27

Hundreds of Amcu members marched en masse to a stadium outside a shaft at Lonmin platinum mine. Watch.WATCH

Rustenburg - New turbulence in Marikana, North West, may indirectly affect public hearings into last year's wage-related unrest at Lonmin platinum mine, the Farlam Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday.

Dali Mpofu, for the injured and arrested miners, said a group of miners who usually attended the proceedings using buses, had raised concerns.

"They say they are now identifiable and they are on the witness list," said Mpofu.

He said he would meet with the group during the lunch break to discuss a way forward.

Commission chairperson, retired Judge Ian Farlam, said protection would be made available for them if necessary.

"Witness protection [just like in court cases] is available for those involved," said Farlam.

Operations suspended

Mining operations at Lonmin were suspended on Tuesday morning because of a wildcat strike.

Company spokesperson Sue Vey said workers arrived for work, but did not go underground.

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) regional co-ordinator Mxhasi Sithethi said the situation was tense at the mine.

Mpofu told the commission Lonmin workers were gathering at Wonderkop, a hill near the mine, on Tuesday morning.

"As we speak, we hear that 10 000 people are gathered at the koppie," he said.

Witness killed

The gathering follows the murder of an Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) official who was shot dead in Marikana at the weekend.

The official, identified as Mawethu Khululekile Steven, was due to testify at the commission.

Steven was one of several witnesses who have been killed in recent months.

The commission, which is sitting in Rustenburg, is investigating the death of 44 people killed in Lonmin's wage-related unrest last year.

Police shot dead 34 striking miners near Wonderkop on 16 August.

Ten people, including two police officers, were killed in the preceding week.

Read more on:    amcu  |  num  |  lonmin  |  police  |  dali mpofu  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry

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